Project Description

HyDIME (Hydrogen Diesel Injection in a Marine Environment) is a 12 month, Innovate UK funded project that will use an environmentally friendly form of hydrogen as a fuel for a commercial ferry operating between Shapinsay and Kirkwall in Orkney.

HyDIME aims to make waves in the marine industry by proving the safe integration and use of hydrogen on vessels. One of HyDIME’s goals is the design and physical integration of a hydrogen injection system on a commercial passenger and vehicle ferry which will be the first of its kind worldwide.

The hydrogen used in the HyDIME project will be cleanly produced from renewable energy. Excess energy generated from Orkney’s abundance of wind and tidal power will be used to produce hydrogen via electrolysis, resulting in carbon free, ’green’ hydrogen.

Looking to the future beyond the project, HyDIME will conduct a scale-up analysis, addressing key questions such as, “How much hydrogen and renewable energy would be required to fuel the Shapinsay ferry PLUS a fleet of hydrogen vehicles in Orkney?” and “Can this project be replicated in other areas of Scotland and the rest of the UK?”.

The HyDIME project will provide a stepping stone to accelerate and de-risk future hydrogen marine projects and will contribute towards growing the hydrogen economy in the UK.

Project Goals


The HyDIME project will focus on the design and development of how the hydrogen injection system components will fit on the vessel and interact with a dockside hydrogen storage solution. Analysis will be conducted to assess how the new system will impact the arrangement on the existing vessel.


Following the design detailing how the hydrogen injection system will fit on the vessel, the existing vessel will have to be physically adapted to accommodate the new system. The hydrogen injection system will then have to be physically integrated with the 75 kW auxiliary power unit onboard the vessel.

Testing and Validation:

To address the safety concerns and hazards regarding hydrogen as a fuel within the marine industry, HAZID (Hazard Identification) and HAZOP (Hazard and Operability) studies will be carried out. The HAZID study will identify risks and reduction measures will be agreed. Potential unplanned scenarios, such as loss of containment events (hydrogen leaks) will also be identified.

Scale Up:

A scale-up plan will be generated with two main objectives: 1) To assess the economic, environmental, social, and operational impacts of the proposed system and to identify the best approach to scale up hydrogen production and consumption on the Orkney islands. 2) To identify and assess opportunities for replicating the same model for other parts of the UK.

The HyDIME Team

News / Updates

@HyDIME Twitter


Q1: Who is funding the HyDIME project?

A1: £430,000 of funding will be provided by Innovate UK – a non-departmental public body who drive economic growth and productivity by supporting UK businesses to unearth and develop new ideas.

Q2: What kind of diesel displacment can be expected?

A2: The hydrogen injection retro-fit will offer between 40% and 60% displacement. In our test vessel this would mean a reduction of between 7,500 and 11,500 litres of diesel in the auxiliary unit per year.

Q3: What is the main source of renewable energy used to generate hydrogen for this project?

A3: Orkney has an abundance of clean energy consisting primarily of wind and tidal due to the high amount of wind experienced and the active tidal areas in this part of Scotland. On the Island of Eday, curtailed energy from these sources is fed to an electrolyser which produces green hydrogen.

Q4: What is hydrogen injection?

A4: Hydrogen injection systems or hydrogen dual fuel systems are those that use compressed Hydrogen gas to displace diesel in internal combustion engines (ICEs). Injecting Hydrogen into a modified ICE results in a cleaner burn and subsequently reduced emissions.

Q5: Why the Shapinsay ferry?

A5: The Shapinsay ferry runs a lifeline service from the main port of Kirkwall to the nearby island of Shapinsay. The aim is to prove that the system can operate efficiently on a critical route thus de-risking it for future projects. The Shapinsay community are also working on getting their very own electrolyser up and running, providing an abundant fuel source for the system.

Q6: What impact will this have on the vessel?

A6: Almost none. The system itself is very unobtrusive, designed to switch and operate seamlessly with, or without Hydrogen. The Hydrogen tanks are located below decks so will have very little effect on the capacity of the vessel.

Q7: Why an Auxiliary power unit?

A7: The ferry has two generators, with one always acting as back up. This provides a level of redundancy for the new system to have minimal impact on the service of the vessel. While the generators on the Shapinsay may be small, they operate day in - day out on the vessel and thus have a very high emission level. There is no reason why, in future, this cannot be scaled up to main propulsion engines.


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